Days III & IV: Washington, DC

We woke up at about 9:30, since we had to figure out how to use the Metro and get to Ford’s Theatre by 11:00. Our current hotel does not serve complimentary breakfast, and we did not have time to get anything on the way to the Metro.

The Rosslyn Metro platform is in a tube roughly 40 feet tall and a bit wider, located at an elevation of 97 feet below ground. The reason for such depth is the location of the entrance on a bluff overlooking the Potomac, which the train tunnels under. An escalator heads down to the station, and the depth left me in awe since I did not expect it. My father purchased cards for us, preloaded with a bit of money. I liked the cards, due to ease of use and convenience. The only problem is that we had to be careful not to have any money left on them at the end of the trip.

While I enjoyed seeing the interior of Ford’s Theatre and the exact place where Lincoln was shot, I did not find the museum in the basement as interesting. My parents purchased the audio tour, which continued for a very long time. The two hours we spent in there and the Peterson House felt like forever to me.

To anybody interested in the history of Ford’s Theatre or the Lincoln assassination, I recommend reading the National Park Service’s report on the Theatre’s design. It can be read online for free, or purchased cheaply.

We went to a Chipotle at the edge of the Chinatown neighborhood, and I got a bowl. The prices for food in DC are quite high, but we had to eat somewhere. The city was OK for a city, but being from the suburbs, I tend not to like crowds and crowded streets. Our family typically goes to quieter areas, but it wasn’t too bad doing something different.

Afterwards, we travelled down to the National Air and Space Museum. I saw quite a bit in the museum, but don’t feel like describing it in detail. After all, anybody can go down their and see the exhibits, and there are certainly countless accounts, photos, and videos of the exhibits.

We headed back to our room and rested a bit before getting dinner at a small bar known as “The Sign of the Whale”. It was located Northwest of the city, and served the usual burgers and beers. I liked the urban hole-in-the-wall feel of the place. Most of the customers were in about their 30’s, though I imagine they get more college students when school is in session.

The second day was another day mostly dedicated to visiting museums and other tourist attractions. We toured the Holocaust Museum, and proceeded to walk to the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial. We also saw the Capitol and White House from the outside, but did not have time to arrange for tours.

On our way back we went to a place on the campus of Georgetown University known as “FoBoGro”, which is short for “Foggy Bottom Grocery”. Upstairs is a convenience store for local students, and downstairs they serve hot sandwiches. I got a Cuban-style sandwich, and we all enjoyed the quality.

We got back to the hotel early, since the constant walking gets rather exhausting. My brother went down to the swimming pool, but I wanted to just relax.

The Best Western we stayed at had a number of problems. We switched rooms for the last night since our AC unit was not working, though the replacement room wasn’t too much better. The artwork was also poorly chosen. Each room contains two pictures: “Kissing the War Goodbye” and a stock photo of the Iwo Jima memorial. There were various photos of the Iwo Jima memorial everywhere, some taken from slightly different angles but a lot being repeats. One of the hallways even is overlooked by a six foot wide painting of the memorial. I could even see two copies of the same poster from some positions.

It was nice to be in DC for a bit, but I couldn’t wait to get out and explore the rest of the East Coast.

~Bob

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